Brown paper bags make an economical and attractive insulating floor finish. The process is essentially decoupage, with torn pieces of brown paper coated with diluted white glue laid on top of a prepped floor, then coated with polyurethane when dry. The result resembles brown leather. One advantage of brown paper bag flooring is that you can install new flooring right over it; however, if the floor has bubbles that make it uneven or you just want to go back to the old concrete or wood flooring, stripping is possible.

Man examining house plans
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Removing a paper bag floor is certainly a doable project.

Step 1

Sweep to remove any loose dirt and debris.

Step 2

Divide the floor into 4-foot by 4-foot sections — the measurements don't have to be exact. Mark the borders of the sections with a black marker.

Step 3

Apply a thick coat of polyurethane stripper to a corner section of the floor with a large paintbrush. Allow the stripper to sit for 45 minutes.

Step 4

Scrape the treated area, starting from one edge. If the paper has not softened, allow the stripper sit for another hour. Once the paper is scraped away, apply stripper to the next section.

Step 5

Rinse the scraped floor with a wet mop and allow it to dry overnight.

Step 6

Sand the floor with a belt sander to remove any remaining paper and glue residue.